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State investigating outbreak of foodborne illness in region

Jul 12, 2019 2:00 pm
Bethany Bump is reporting for the Times Union state and local health departments are investigating an outbreak of cyclosporiasis in the Capital Region. The gastrointestinal illness can spread through contaminated food and water, and has been confirmed in 11 people so far. Several of the patients reported eating at the Italian American Community Center in Albany, Prime Life Restaurant at the Beltrone Senior Living Community Center in Colonie, and a private buffet held at Union College in Schenectady. Outbreaks of cyclosporiasis in the U.S. are often associated with imported fresh produce that have been contaminated with a fecal parasite. Officials said there is no indication the parasite was spread by poor food handling or preparation locally. Instead, the contamination may have occurred prior to arrival at food distribution centers and restaurants, and it is not easily removed by standard rinsing. Additional dining establishments may be identified as the investigation continues. Symptoms of cyclosporiasis appear approximately one to two weeks after ingestion. They include severe diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps, bloating, nausea and fatigue. If left untreated, the symptoms can last a month or longer and can return one or more times. State health officials say they are closely monitoring an increase in cyclosporiasis cases statewide and nationally. Read the full story in the Times Union.